October 27, 2017

Bipartisan Group of House Lawmakers Urge Administration to Not Include Proposed Home Health Groupings Model in Final Rule

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Washington, D.C. — The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (Partnership) — a coalition of home health providers dedicated to improving the integrity, quality and efficiency of home healthcare for our nation’s seniors — today commended U.S. Representatives from both sides of the aisle who signed a letter asking Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Hagan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Administrator Verma to hold-off on finalizing the proposed Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) until the proposed payment model can be fully analyzed. The 174 signatories, led by Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-LA) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL), called home health “a critical and cost-effective service for our constituents and the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who rely on it for treatment and high-quality care” and pointed out that missing “methodology and data points” make it impossible to estimate the full effect of HHGM on home health patient access and care. The letter also cited concern that “the proposed rule [is] not budget neutral and could reduce Medicare reimbursements for home health services by as much as $950 million in 2019 alone” concluding by asking “that CMS not include the HHGM proposal in its final CY 2018 Home Health Prospective Payment System rulemaking and instead work with relevant stakeholders, including home health agencies, providers and patient groups, in a more inclusive process as you develop and implement payment reforms.” “We commend lawmakers in Congress for looking out for their constituents by joining with patient groups, providers and the Partnership to express concerns about HHGM as it’s currently proposed,” said Keith Myers, Chairman of the Partnership. “Now, bipartisan Members of Congress from both chambers have asked CMS to not include HHGM in the final home health rule. This letter is yet another voice in the chorus of concern with HHGM and we strongly urge the Administration to take these comments into account and not finalize this rule.” The House letter is signed by U.S. Representatives from both parties representing 39 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including 75 Republicans and 99 Democrats. A similar letter signed by a bipartisan group of 49 Senators was sent to HHS and CMS in September.